Book Review: “Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World” by Scott Harrison

Elena Hermanson
Sep 29, 2018 · 3 min read

The newest nonprofit book on the market, Thirst, is written by Scott Harrison, the Founder & CEO of charity: water. This book is part memoir, part story, and wholly inspirational.

Scott Harrison recounts his life in very openly and draws the reader in right from the start. He explores and recounts his life, through his childhood and successful career as a nightclub promoter, to becoming a photographer on a hospital ship in West Africa and finding his true passion. His story is truly phenomenal, and we felt like he was sharing his story with a good friend. Although his story is wildly interesting and downright amazing, it still feels relatable and down-to-earth.

If you are looking for a practical book about how to start a thriving global nonprofit- this is not your book. There are plenty of other “how-to” and motivational books for aspiring leaders and changemakers out there.

However, if you want a compelling and inspirational story, this is the book for you. Harrison does share his journey of establishing his nonprofit with the reader, so many of us (especially those of us in the nonprofit field) will be able to pull snippets of sage advice out of his book that we can translate into our own vocation. But remember — it is first and foremost his own life story.

There is an element of spirituality that comes up time and again in this book, as his religion is an important component of his journey. That shouldn’t be a turn off to anyone (he is not ministering to the reader) but readers should know going into it that they will encounter religious tones throughout his book.

Thirst is eloquent, entrancing, and engaging from start to finish. It is a longer book (slightly over 300 pages), but it is an easy read. The book is nicely formatted and made up of short sections based on time, place, and focus.

“There’s an old rabbinic saying that I love: “Do not be afraid of work that has no end.” That’s how I’ve come to see my life. If your work is in the service of others — if you’re pursuing compassion and generosity, and your calling is to end the suffering of people less fortunate than you — then your work will simply never end. The idea of that used to scare me. But not anymore. Now it inspires me.” (p. 312)

Overall, we highly recommend this new publication. Nonprofit professionals and “hopeful citizens” alike should get their hands on this book and use this inspiring story to fuel their own passions.

Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World will be available for purchase on October 3, 2018 anywhere books are sold. For more information about charity:water, visit their website.

Did You Know? Thirst is available as an add-on item at Just choose your subscription and add Thirst to your order for only $17!

Nonprofit Leadership Toolbox

Elena Hermanson

Written by

Chief Operating Officer- Colton Strawser Consulting. CoFounder- Nonprofit Leadership Toolbox. Social Justice & Racial Equity. Social Enterprises & New Ventures.

Nonprofit Leadership Toolbox

Nonprofit Leadership Toolbox was created to offer something new in the nonprofit sector: affordable, convenient, valuable professional development.

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